Sorry Al, Ain’t Buying It


Gore Responds To Drudge’s Latest Hysterics

The right-wing is angry that Al Gore has won so much public attention and goodwill for his work on global warming… [Drudge stinks, blah blah blah, and now the rationalizations]

1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.

2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand…

These are the lengths that climate skeptics must go to suppress action on global warming. There is no meaningful debate within the scientific community, so the right-wing busies itself with talk about how much electricity Al Gore’s house uses — and even then they distort the truth.

What exactly is the truth that that is being distorted?

That Gore wants everyone else to reduce their consumption while maintaining his? Or that he thinks that he can buy his way out of practicing what he is preaching?

Al and his family are like abolitionists that pay someone else to take their place in the Civil War. Rich people have always been able to buy absolution for their sins. It was a major source of income for the church in the Middle Ages. That doesn’t make it right.

I’m sure that Al, or more likely his publicist, would be eager to tell us that he doesn’t consider himself any better than anyone else. But is that a real belief or just rhetoric?

Al’s supporters see him as a kind of Messiah, come to lead us away from a world of greed and waste. But why should he be able to talk the talk and not expect people to notice that he is not walking the walk? Why should his family be able to pollute at a higher rate than a poorer family? I thought equality was the watchword of Liberal Democrats?

If consumption must be decreased it would seem to me that the place to begin is with the big consumers. That would be people like Al. If we’re to take him seriously we should figure out how a family the size of Gore’s must live to end global warming and do it. No matter if the family is in an upscale neighborhood or the ghetto. What’s sauce for the goose…and all that. None of this purchasing of “offsets”.

As Treacher says in his comments, no one knows where or even if, these trees or other offset are being planted, or whatever it is they promise to do. Even if they are doing it, there are other Liberal considerations. Are the workers paid a living wage? Do they have medical insurance? What about a retirement plan? Are they members of a labor union; if not, why not?. You can’t collect pretty vouchers saying that they are offsetting your pollution without taking responsibility for the details.

Personally, I look at every environmental “activist” as part of the baseline. If they are calling for decreased consumption while living in a house on several acres in the country, they are going to have to reduce their consumption to below mine before I am even going to consider anything.

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